International climate negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations start today in Nairobi, Kenya. While these talks are crucial to avoiding catastrophic climate change, Canada?s delegation arrives with a weak track record and a discredited plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The Nairobi talks will set the stage for a post-2012 international agreement that will improve on the Kyoto Protocol and commit developed countries to further greenhouse gas reductions. This conference will also be held for the first time in Africa, where the impacts of climate change are already being felt in devastating droughts adversely affecting the lives of tens of millions of people.
?Canada?s contribution to the international efforts to fight climate change has been systematically dismantled in the last months since the arrival of the Conservative minority government,? said Steven Guilbeault, Greenpeace Canada. ?Despite paying lip service to these negotiations, Minister Ambrose has not bothered showing up at numerous key international meetings on climate change and has not lived up to her role as President of the current Kyoto negotiations. In fact, Minister Ambrose and Prime Minister Harper have systematically shown contempt towards the United Nations process. In a matter of months Canada has gone from hero to zero.?
In the last few days, the international press has been dominated by the findings of the Stern report in the United Kingdom. The report found that immediate, coordinated international action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is in the best economic interests of global society? ?The Harper government should wake up to the world around them and reconsider their position. For Canada to play a constructive role again and be taken seriously here, we have to start meeting our Kyoto targets and commit to the medium and long term emissions reductions that are required to avoid the catastrophic implications of climate change,? said Hugo S?guin, ?quiterre.
The most recent scientific evidence indicates that any warming over 2? C constitutes dangerous, irreversible climate change. ?The European Union acknowledges this fact. Canada needs to step up to the plate and recognize the urgent necessity to address the scientific facts. The world is watching,? said Emilie Moorhouse, Sierra Club of Canada.
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ECO (daily NGO newsletter) can be viewed: http://www.climatenetwork.org/eco/
Am?lie Ferland, ?quiterre: 514-973-2000
Katie Albright, Sierre Club of Canada: 613-241-4611